From the time you give birth until your bundle of joy is a big kid, you hear the term “milestones“, those big leaps our little ones take in learning, coordination, language, physical ability, growth, and cognitive ability. We celebrate them as they occur and sometimes even feel a little sad to see our littles growing up. Doctors ask about milestones at every checkup. Naturally, we usually remember the when the where and the why of these big events in our childrens’ lives. When worried, we are reassured that children often vary in age and the time they will hit each milestone.
As a parent of a child with special needs, these milestones become an obsession as you begin to notice more than one has not been met. Even scarier, when your child begins to regress, and those milestones you celebrated and praised start to disappear.
I learned a new term from a fellow special needs mom, and that term is “inchstones“. Once you learn your child has cognitive and physical disabilities, the way in which accomplishments in growth are made and celebrated changes. While a small milestone so seemingly simple to most may not be a big deal, to some it’s monumental.
I want to share with you an inchstone we celebrated yesterday.
Yesterday, my husband and I worked and our littles went to daycare. My husband picked them up from daycare. When I came home later, I was shocked to see a picture colored for us by our son Augustus. Why was I shocked? He has never colored before. We have tried in the past, but all he was ever interested in was eating the crayons. This was major for us. A major inchstone.
Not only did Augustus color a picture, but he was also able to jump on the trampoline by himself. This is big for us, too, as he has low muscle tone in his lower extremities and struggles with jumping and balance. Another inchstone.
In conclusion, I have to express my gratefulness and acknowledge the absolute blessing that it is to have found a daycare so capable and willing to work with my child with special needs. While maybe most moms would be sad to have missed these inchstones, I absolutely am not. I am in awe of the patience and the ability of my daycare providers to provide the attention and apply the skills needed to work with my child. They are unequivocally a part of our family and a huge part in raising our children. Invaluable.
Thank you all for being here to celebrate the milestones and inchstones we experience as we walk along in this journey we call life.